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President Obama to Establish César E. Chávez National Monument
Category: GENERAL
Tags: president obama obamz cesar chavez national monument civil rights

President Obama to Establish César E. Chávez National Monument

On October 8th, 2012, President Obama will travel to Keene, California to announce the establishment of the César E. Chávez National Monument.

Years in the making, the monument – which will be designated under the Antiquities Act – will be established on the property known as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace), or La Paz.

The La Paz property is recognized worldwide for its historic link to civil rights icon César Estrada Chávez and the farm worker movement.

 

The site served as the national headquarters of the United Farm Workers (UFW) as well as the home and workplace of César Chávez and his family from the early 1970’s until Chávez’ death in 1993, and includes his grave site which will also be part of the monument.

“César Chávez gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere,” said President Obama. “La Paz was at the center of some of the most significant civil rights moments in our nation’s history, and by designating it a national monument, Chávez’ legacy will be preserved and shared to inspire generations to come.”

From this rural headquarters in the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern County, California, Chávez played a central role in achieving basic worker protections for hundreds of thousands of farmworkers across the country, from provisions ensuring drinking water was provided to workers in the fields, to steps that helped limit workers’ exposure to dangerous pesticides, to helping to establish basic minimum wages and health care access for farm workers.

The National Chávez Center, in consultation with the United Farm Workers of America, the César Chávez Foundation and members of César Chávez’s family, offered to donate certain properties at La Paz to the federal government for the purpose of establishing a national monument commemorating César E. Chávez and the farmworker movement.

 

This designation will represent the culmination of a process that has been underway for several years.

The César E. Chávez National Monument will encompass property that includes a Visitors’ Center containing César Chávez’s office as well as the UFW legal aid offices, the home of César and Helen Chávez, the Chávez Memorial Garden containing Chavez’s grave site, and additional buildings and structures at the La Paz campus.

The monument, which will be managed by the National Park Service in consultation with the National Chávez Center and the César Chávez Foundation, will be the fourth National Monument designated by President Obama using the Antiquities Act.

 

He previously designated Fort Monroe National Monument in Virginia, a former Army post integral to the history of slavery, the Civil War, and the U.S. military; Fort Ord National Monument in California, a former military base that is a world-class destination for outdoor recreation; and Chimney Rock, which is located in the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado, and offers a spectacular landscape rich in history and Native American culture. First exercised by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to designate Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, the authority of the Antiquities Act has been used by 16 presidents since 1906 to protect unique natural and historic features in America, such as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Colorado's Canyons of the Ancients.

 

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THE WHITE HOUSE

Oficina del Secretario de Prensa

 


PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA

1° de octubre, 2012

El Presidente Obama establecerá el
Monumento Nacional a César E. Chávez


El día 8 de octubre de 2012, el Presidente Obama viajará a Keene, California, para anunciar el establecimiento del Monumento Nacional a César E. Chávez. Este monumento, que lleva varios años en proyecto y será designado bajo la Ley de Antigüedades, se establecerá en la propiedad conocida como Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz, o La Paz. La propiedad de La Paz está reconocida en todo el mundo por su conexión histórica con el ícono de los derechos civiles César Estrada Chávez y el movimiento de los trabajadores agrícolas. Este lugar ha sido la sede nacional de la Unión de Trabajadores Agrícolas (UFW, por sus siglas en inglés) así como la casa y centro de trabajo de César Chávez y su familia desde principios de la década de 1970 hasta el fallecimiento de Chávez en 1993, e incluye su tumba, que también será parte del monumento.

El Presidente Obama comentó que, “César Chávez les dio una voz a los trabajadores pobres y despojados en todas partes. La Paz fue el punto de partida de algunos de los movimientos de derechos civiles más significativos en la historia de nuestra nación y, al designársele como monumento nacional, se preservará y se compartirá el legado de Chávez para inspirar a las generaciones futuras”.

Desde esta sede rural en las Montañas Tehachapi del Condado Kern en California, Chávez desempeñó una función clave para lograr las protecciones básicas para cientos de miles de trabajadores agrícolas en todo el país, desde disposiciones que garantizaban que se les proporcionara agua potable a los trabajadores en los campos, hasta medidas que ayudaron a limitar la exposición de los trabajadores a pesticidas nocivos, hasta ayudar a establecer los salarios mínimos básicos y acceso a cuidado médico para los trabajadores agrícolas.

El Centro Nacional Chávez, en consulta con la Unión de Trabajadores Agrícolas de América, la Fundación César Chávez y miembros de la familia de César Chávez, ofreció donar ciertas propiedades en La Paz al gobierno federal con el fin de establecer un monumento nacional para conmemorar a César E. Chávez y el movimiento de los trabajadores agrícolas. Esa designación representará la culminación de un proceso que lleva varios años en movimiento.

El Monumento Nacional César E. Chávez comprenderá propiedad que incluye un centro de visitantes que contiene la oficina de César Chávez así como las oficinas de ayuda legal de UFW, la casa de César y Helen Chávez, el Jardín Conmemorativo Chávez que contiene la tumba de Chavez, y otros edificios y estructuras en el recinto de La Paz.

El monumento, que estará bajo la administración del Servicio Nacional de Parques, en consulta con el Centro Nacional Chávez y la Fundación César Chávez, será el cuarto monumento nacional designado por el Presidente Obama bajo la Ley de Antigüedades. Él designó previamente el Monumento Nacional Fort Monroe en Virginia, una antigua posta del ejército que fue integral a la historia de la esclavitud, la Guerra Civil, y las Fuerzas Armadas de EE.UU.; el Monumento Nacional Fort Ord en California, una antigua base militar que es un destino de clase mundial para recreación al aire libre; y Chimney Rock, que está ubicado en el Bosque Nacional de San Juan en el suroeste de Colorado, y ofrece un panorama espectacular repleto de historia y de cultura americana nativa. La autoridad de la Ley de Antigüedades, que fue ejercida por primera vez por el Presidente Theodore Roosevelt en 1906 para designar el Monumento Nacional de Devils Tower en Wyoming, ha sido usada por 16 presidentes desde entonces para proteger las características naturales e históricas exclusivas en EE.UU., tales como el Gran Cañón, la Estatua de la Libertad, y el monumento Canyons of the Ancients en

The High Cost of Low Trust
Category: GENERAL
Tags: trust covey emotional bank account conversation relations
This message was viewed at the blog page of
Stephen R. Covey
 
 
Most organizations have no clue of the enormous cost of low trust, and because most executives have no means of measuring its bottom-line impact, they have little motivation to seriously address it. To compound the problem, many employees feel like helpless victims of the problems in their organizations and see no clear way to influence their leaders. Learn specific, powerful things you can do that will profoundly impact the level of trust in your relationships, your team, your family, and your organization.

Q: Is trust really necessary in business today? Can you do business without it?

A: You absolutely cannot do business without trust. It is not only important, it is absolutely vital. For instance, even transacting with somebody when you are buying gasoline, you trust that you are getting quality fuel; you trust that the prices are within the market; and you trust that your money will be accepted by that person. There are just so many elements to the simplest transaction that require trust. But we are like fish that discover water last and are sometimes unaware of those implicit elements. Trust is the lifeblood of all relationships, of all transactions, and is so foundational and fundamental to everything in life.

Q: What are evidences of a low-trust environment?

A: Low-trust environments are filled with hidden agendas, a lot of political games, interpersonal conflict, interdepartmental rivalries, and people bad-mouthing each other behind their backs while sweet-talking them to their faces. With low trust, you get a lot of rules and regulations that take the place of human judgment and creativity; you also see profound disempowerment. People will not be on the same page about what’s important. Ultimately, the culture will become driven by urgency rather than importance because everyone is in it for themselves and for their own agenda.

Q: What is low trust costing us?

A: Low trust has a huge tax associated with it. It creates a culture of toxicity, just like you have toxins in your body. Imagine what it costs a body to be full of poison. And that is what a low-trust culture is-it is full of poison. You see people embracing and promulgating what I call the six metastasizing emotional cancers. Metastasize means they send their cancer cells through the body, mind, heart, and spirit of a person. They can also spread through relationships.

The six metastasizing cancers are criticizing, complaining, comparing, competing, contending, and cynicism.

By competing, I don’t mean the healthy competition you find in the marketplace or in the basketball arena, but the kind of competition where you are competing for your own internal sense of worth.

These emotional cancers are the forces that literally undermine and eventually destroy relationships. However, trust makes all things possible.

Q: It seems like a lot of work to build and maintain trust. Is it worth the effort?

A: Absolutely it is worth it. It’s the most supremely important thing you can do to get the confidence of another person by being true to your commitments, by clarifying expectations, by treating people with kindness and respect, and by learning to be transparent about the information you have so that people trust it and you can almost speak to them in verbal shorthand. You hardly even have to finish sentences when there’s high trust. The speed of trust is an amazing thing. Without it, everything gets bogged down, slows down; people protect themselves, they think defensively, and they gather other people around them to form cliques. These cliques then judge other cliques, which only compounds the low-trust situation, slows down everything, and levies a huge tax on all human interaction and transaction.

Q: Help us understand the behaviors that reduce trust.

A: The metaphor I’ve used that I have found very helpful to people is an Emotional Bank Account. It’s like a financial bank account into which you can make deposits and take withdrawals. And if you get into a situation where you are constantly making withdrawals-the kinds that I have just been speaking about-you get an overdrawn Emotional Bank Account. And we all know what happens with a bank relationship when you have an overdrawn account. It kills your freedom, your flexibility, and your credit capacity.

Q: What behaviors increase trust? Is it a skill I can learn?

A: Absolutely. It is not just a skill you can learn, it is a character trait that you have to develop. It is not a technique you can just pick up. You have to be trustworthy in your heart and sincere about what your real intentions are so that you can be transparent. You’re not fearful of being “found out” doing something in the dark when you’re proclaiming something else in the light. The most important of all deposits into the Emotional Bank Account of trust is empathy, because empathy, or listening to another within his or her frame of reference, tells you what the important deposits are to that person. Every person is different. So you have to figure out what is important to them-how do they interpret kindness, consideration, and respect? How do they interpret making and keeping promises? How do they interpret any other positive deposit in the Emotional Bank Account? This is all a function of empathy, and it is the same with customers, with your associates in the business, and with your business partners. The key is to always develop a relationship that produces Win/Win Agreements, so the feeling is that everyone wins. But to do that, you have to deeply listen to other people to find out what the win is for them.

Q: Is it possible to regain someone’s trust? How?

A: It is absolutely possible to regain their trust, but to do so, you have to right the wrongs you’ve done; you have to apologize; you have to seek forgiveness; you have to try to make reconciliation in every way you can. But if you are in a state of denial and don’t have the humility to admit that you’ve made a mistake, then you’ve just taken another withdrawal and people will come to not trust your apologies and your asking for forgiveness.

 

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) lower your student loan repayment
Category: GENERAL
Tags: college finances repayment education loans scholaships

Cheaper Student Loans. Who Knew?

By Elizabeth Dwoskin | BusinessWeek – Mon, Sep 17, 2012 12:17 PM ED
Associated Press/

The number of borrowers defaulting on …more  federal student loans has jumped sharply, the latest indication that rising college tuition costs, low graduation rates and poor job prospects are getting more and more students over their heads in debt. The national two-year cohort default rate rose to 8.8 percent in 2009, from 7 percent in fiscal 2008, according to figures released Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 by the Department of Education. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)  less

 

In his speech at the Democratic convention, former President Bill Clinton heaped praise upon a program that the Obama administration started to help people repay their student loans. Known as “income-based repayment,” it lets borrowers adjust monthly payments down to 15 percent of their income and wipe out the debt after 15 years. “No one will ever have to drop out of college again for fear they can’t repay their debt,” Clinton said. “If someone wants to take a job with a modest income—a teacher, a police officer, if they want to be a small-town doctor in a little rural area—they won’t have to turn those jobs down because they don’t pay enough to repay the debt. Their debt obligation will be determined by their salary. This will change the future for young Americans.”

It’s notable that Clinton talked about how many people the program would help in the future. It’s actually been around since 2009. So far it hasn’t worked as well as policy makers had hoped.

Right now only 972,000 graduates—about 2.6 percent of all borrowers—are using income-based repayment. Two to three million further borrowers could qualify for the program, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, who crunched U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Census data to devise his estimate.

Why would so many graduates with the option of paying less every month not take it?


For one thing, a lot of borrowers don’t know they qualify. To get into the program, you have to apply through the bank that services your loan, but many banks don’t tell borrowers about the program. They aren’t required to do so, and because they make more money if monthly payments are higher, they have little incentive to spread the word. Also, while companies that service direct federal loans—those in which the government is the lender—must offer income-based repayment, servicers of federally guaranteed loans issued by private lenders don’t have to offer the program.

It also didn’t help that in the program’s first six months, there were so many filing glitches that many borrowers were turned off, Kantrowitz says.

The Obama administration is now trying harder to get people into income-based repayment. By the end of this year, officials plan to move the income threshold down from 15 percent to 10 percent for some borrowers, which will make the program available to more people. (If you make $60,000 a year and your loan payments are $600 a month—or about 12 percent—you’ll be eligible and could then decrease your payments to $500 a month.) Banks will be required to describe the program to borrowers who call up and say they’re having trouble paying. The idea is to get people enrolled before they become delinquent.

There’s a further, psychological reason why students might not be taking advantage of the program, Kantrowitz says. Those already in default may have accrued fees and other penalties they feel are unfair. Enrolling in income-based repayment means accepting all the debt, even if borrowers don’t think they owe every last cent. In other words, the program’s existence may be contributing to the very situation the government is trying to avoid—borrowers simply brushing off payments altogether.

 

 


Student Loans: Debt for Life

This much we know: College pays. You can lose your house to foreclosure, but never your education. Four-year college graduates’ pay advantage over high school grads has doubled over the past 30 years. If money for tuition is tight, the advice goes, borrow what you need. Students have been listening. In 2010 student debt exceeded credit-card debt for the first time. In 2011 it surpassed auto loans. In March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that student debt had passed $1 trillion. It grew by $300 billion from the third quarter of 2008 even as other forms of debt shrank by $1.6 trillion, according to a separate tabulation by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In a press briefing at the White House in April, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, “Obviously if you have no debt that’s maybe the best situation, but this is not bad debt to have. In fact, it’s very good debt to have.”

If student loans are good debt, how do you account for the reaction of Christina Mills, 30, of Minneapolis, when she found out her payment on college and law school loans would be $1,400 a month? “I just went into the car and started sobbing,” says Mills, who works for a nonprofit. “It was more than my paycheck at the time.” Medical student Thomas Smith, 25, of Hamilton, N.J., is $310,000 in debt and is struggling to make ends meet even before beginning to repay his loans. “I don’t even know what I eat,” he says. “I just go to the supermarket and buy the cheapest thing I can and buy as much of it as I can.” Then there’s Michael DiPietro, 25, of Brooklyn, who accumulated about $100,000 in debt while getting a bachelor’s degree in fashion, sculpture, and performance, and spent the next two years waiting tables. He has since landed a fundraising job in the arts but still has no idea how he will pay back all that money. “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s an obsolete idea that a college education is like your golden ticket,” DiPietro says. “It’s an idea that an older generation holds on to.”


Even if you buy into the notion that education debt is good debt, at what point does it become too much of a good thing? Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, which researches financial aid, estimates that student debt, compounded by rising enrollments, is growing by nearly $3,000 a second.

“The question isn’t the debt per se. It’s what the students are getting in return,” says Richard Arum, a New York University sociologist who specializes in education. Many students are incurring heavy debts for an education (ethnomusicology, theater arts) that just isn’t worth it from a strictly financial viewpoint. (Money isn’t everything, but try telling that to the collection agency.) Education benefits society by creating a workforce that creates wealth, pays taxes, and stays off welfare. But state governments—whose schools educate 7 in 10 students—have raised tuition abruptly because of their own financial problems. So far the federal government has offset the state cutbacks by boosting financial aid, but Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter testified to Congress earlier this year that “this path is not fiscally sustainable.”

There’s a lot of speculation that college debt is the next bubble after housing, the latest sector in which prices leap above real value. American colleges may not be turning out the kind of graduates that employers want. In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, NYU’s Arum and sociologist Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia write that employers are being forced to turn to foreigners or graduate and professional schools to fill jobs that they once filled with homegrown college graduates.

That’s the value side. The cost side is ugly, too. The economic slump that began in 2007 has forced people to pay more for college even as it has driven more of them into it as a refuge from an unfriendly job market. The National Center for Education Statistics projects that college attendance this fall will be up 19 percent from the fall of 2007. Meanwhile, state and local support for higher education last year was the lowest in 25 years of measurement, in inflation-adjusted dollars per student, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Two-thirds of college seniors graduated with loans in 2010, and those who did had an average of about $25,000, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.

 

 

 


Over the past several years, the Obama Administration has worked to improve repayment options available to responsible student loan borrowers. Since 2009, former students have been able to enroll in an “Income Based Repayment” (IBR) plan to cap their student loan payments at 15 percent of their current discretionary income if they make their payments on time.

In 2010, President Obama signed into law an improved income-based repayment plan that would lower this cap to 10 percent of discretionary income for students who take out loans after July 1, 2014. Then, last October, the President announced an executive action to make that lower cap available to more borrowers by the end of 2012, rather than 2014. The latest change will likely reduce monthly student loan payments for more than 1.6 million responsible student borrowers.

Despite these opportunities and policy improvements to help graduates make their monthly payments, too few responsible borrowers are aware of their repayment options.  Even among borrowers who understand their options, many have difficulties navigating and completing the application process.

Today, President Obama is introducing a Presidential Memorandum that will help educate more students about their loan repayment options and streamline the IBR application process. Read through the questions below to learn more about income based repayment and how these changes might affect you.


1. What is income-based loan repayment?

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a repayment plan that caps your required monthly payments on the major types of federal student loans at an amount intended to be affordable based on income and family size. All Stafford, Grad PLUS, and Consolidation Loans made under either the Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan programs are eligible to be included in the program. Non-federal loans, loans currently in default, and Parent PLUS Loans are not eligible for the income-based repayment plan.

The program lowers monthly payments for borrowers who have high loan debt and modest incomes, but it may increase the length of the loan repayment period, accruing more interest over the life of the loan.


2. Who qualifies for IBR?

IBR helps people whose federal student loan debt is high relative to income and family size. Currently, your loan servicer (the company you make your loan payments to) determines your eligibility, but starting in September 2012, students won’t have to contact their loan servicer to apply—they will be able to apply directly through the Department of Education’s website, thanks to a new directive from President Obama.

You can use the U.S. Department of Education’s IBR calculator to estimate whether you are likely to qualify for the plan. The calculator looks at your income, family size, and state of residence to calculate your IBR monthly payment amount. If that amount is lower than the monthly payment you are paying on your eligible loans under a 10-year standard repayment plan, then you are eligible to repay your loans under IBR.


3. Will my eligibility change if I'm married? What if my spouse also has loans?

If you are married and file a joint federal tax return with your spouse, both your income and your spouse’s income are used to calculate your IBR monthly payment amount.

If you are married and you and your spouse file a joint federal tax return, and if your spouse also has IBR-eligible loans, your spouse’s eligible loan debt is combined with yours when determining whether you are eligible for IBR. If the combined monthly amount you and your spouse would pay under IBR is lower than the combined monthly amount you and your spouse are paying under a 10-year standard repayment plan, you and your spouse are eligible for IBR.


4. How will enrolling in IBR affect my monthly payments compared to the standard repayment plan?

It depends on your income. But, take for example a nurse who is earning $45,000 and has $60,000 in federal student loans. Under the standard repayment plan, her monthly repayment amount is $690. The currently available IBR plan would reduce her payment by $332, to $358.  President Obama’s improved “Pay As You Earn” plan -- reducing the cap from 15 percent to 10 percent -- will reduce her payment by an additional $119, to a more manageable $239 -- a total reduction of $451 a month.


6. How will enrolling in IBR affect my payments over the life of the loan compared to the standard repayment plan?

In general, your payments will increase as your income does, but they will never be more than they would have been under the standard 10-year repayment plan. Although lower monthly payments may be better for some borrowers, lower payments may also mean you make payments for longer and the longer it takes to pay your loans, the more interest you pay compared to the standard repayment plan.


7. Is it possible my payments will be higher under IBR than they would under the standard repayment plan?

IBR will never cause your payments to increase more than they would have been under the standard repayment plan. It is possible, however, that your income and the size of your outstanding loan balance may mean that IBR is not beneficial to you. If your payments would be higher in IBR than they would be in the standard repayment plan, the IBR option will not be available to you.

Also, because a reduced monthly payment in IBR generally extends your repayment period, you may pay more total interest over the life of the loan than you would under other repayment plans.


8. How do I opt in to IBR?

To sign up for IBR, call your loan servicer. The loan servicer is the company that sends you your monthly student loan bills.  If you don’t know who your servicer is or would like more information about your loans, such as the balance and interest rates, you can look it up on www.nslds.ed.gov. To see a list of and contact information for common servicers of student loans held by the US Department of Education, you may visit the Loan Servicer page.


9) What does today’s Presidential Memorandum mean for IBR?

The PM will do three things:

Streamline the IBR application process: The Department of Education, in collaboration with the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, will create a streamlined online application process for IBR that allows student loan borrowers with federally held loans to import their IRS tax return income data directly into the IBR application. This process will allow income information to be seamlessly transmitted so that borrowers can complete the application at one sitting.  Federal direct student loan borrowers will no longer be required to contact their loan servicer as the first step to apply.

Enhance online and mobile resources for loan repayment options and debt management: The Department of Education will create integrated online and mobile resources for students and former students to use in learning about Federal student aid, including an explanation of the various options to cap monthly payments based on income. The Department will also develop and make available to borrowers an online tool to help students make better financial decisions, including understanding their loan debt and its impact on their everyday lives. This tool would incorporate key elements of best practices in financial literacy and link to students’ actual Federal loan data to help them understand their individual circumstances and options for repayment.

Increase awareness of IBR: The Department of Education will instruct Federal direct student loan servicers to make borrowers aware of the option to participate in IBR before a student leaves school and upon entering repayment. The Department of Education will make available for institutions of higher education a model exit counseling module that will enable students to understand their repayment options before leaving school and to choose a repayment plan for their student loans that best meets their needs.


10. How can I find out more?

Visit www.studentaid.ed.gov or call 1-800-4-FED-AID. You can also learn more about other student loan repayment options and find advice on paying loans off more quickly using the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's Student Debt Repayment Assistant.

To find out about other changes to student loan programs, including President Obama's plan to allow borrowers to consolidate Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans, click here

 

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